Today feels like the perfect day to introduce the DOVU Carbon Audit Trail.
For us, it’s an essential and vital pillar that supports our soil carbon capture mission. It’s not a nice-to-have. It’s a must-have. In this blogpost, we set out what is, how it works and why it matters.
Let’s start at the beginning
We’re building a marketplace that supports carbon capture across the planet.
But it’s important that we do it in a way that delivers confidence, clarity and certainty.
It’s why we use impartial soil scientists to calculate the data and distributed ledger technology, Hedera Hashgraph, to verify its authenticity.
With the minting capabilities in place and the imminent launch of the carbon market, we’d like to walk you through our next major focus: the carbon audit trail.
Before we dive into the details of what the audit trail is, it seems eminently sensible to provide some context.
Carbon calculation is a complicated process. It includes working with multiple actors and adhering to a strict scientific process. It involves establishing a carbon baseline and then using the latest scientific technology to model farming improvements.
The overarching framework that dictates how carbon calculations are conducted is called the policy. This is a scientific process recognised by universities or other scientific bodies. It dictates the requirements, calculations, measurements, units and practices for any carbon calculation.For our initial batch of UK farms, DOVU currently applies AgreCalc’s policy.
Third-party verifiers and auditors then conduct full audits of farms in adherence to the policy. They provide the baseline number of CO2 tonnes being sequestered, and recommendations to improve on-site farming practices.
Here’s a quick summary of the carbon calculation process:
- Farmers register interest in starting a project, and provide documentation and certifications such as:
- farm name and proof of ownership or tenancy
- land size and basic soil type (woodland, grassland and so on)
- livestock (volume and production type)
- farmer’s vision for their land.
- An external and independent third-party verifier confirms the farmer’s data and conducts carbon counting. The verifier then visits the farm and conducts a full audit of the farm, taking soil samples and measurements.
- An independent auditor reviews the verifier’s carbon calculation to ensure that the carbon calculation adheres to the scientific policy.
- DOVU mints carbon tokens based on the number of tonnes the farm can prove is stored and annually sequestered at the baseline rate, and lists the carbon on our marketplace.
- Each farmer enters into a contract with DOVU and buyers. This commits them to future environmental improvements. The farmer will be responsible for implementing the project and DOVU will help the farmer sell the carbon on our marketplace.
- Independent auditors conduct set audits to ensure that the smart-contract terms are met, and that the farming practices and carbon storage are being implemented.
Carbon project requirements
Having outlined how we calculate and mint carbon tokens, let’s take a step back to think about the elements that help deliver a robust and effective carbon project.
At DOVU, we believe every carbon project should be built with the following requirements in mind:
Net negativity considerations
- Additionality: prove that carbon removal wouldn’t have happened without the existence of the project.
- Durability and risk: durability of the carbon stored and risk of carbon reversal.
- Avoidance of leakage: proof that projects don’t shift emissions from one geographic area to another area (including internationally) that isn’t counted in the project claim.
- Clear removals attributes: distinct and measured tallies of emissions removed as opposed to emissions avoided and/or reduced.
- Carbon is measurable and verifiable. Using an external, science-based policy to quantify carbon.
- Align with industry standards and have a pathway for approved certifications.
- Document prerequisites through a comprehensive independent review.
Trust and Anti-fraud
- Doesn’t inflate credit volumes: provide transparency of the carbon accounting process. This offers a safeguard against anyone taking advantage of project accreditation rules for baselining and project geographic boundaries to inflate credit volumes beyond the facts (a difficult issue to spot without third-party scientific advisors).
- Doesn’t have conflicts of interest: provide transparency of the different actors’ independence and ensure there is no incentive for carbon inflation.
The Audit Trail
What is it?
According to Wikipedia, an audit trail is ‘’a security-relevant chronological record, set of records, and/or destination and source of records that provide documentary evidence of the sequence of activities that have affected at any time a specific operation, procedure, event, or device. Audit records typically result from activities such as financial transactions, scientific research and healthcare data transactions, or communications by individual people, systems, accounts, or other entities.”
DOVU is building its audit trail for carbon offsetting. This means an automatic, distributed system with verified actors, that allows data to flow and carbon minted without allowing any actor to manipulate it.
In every step of the carbon validation journey, every actor from farmers to auditors ‘sign off’ on their tasks. This is publicly recorded, increasing the trust of the integrity of carbon stores while reducing risk. That is the carbon trust layer in a nutshell.
How does it help DOVU?
- Creating the trust layer: a trust-chain for different agents to sign off on the different stages of verification and audit provides transparency into every aspect of the carbon offsetting process, from scientific policies to measurements and carbon sale.
- Carbon calculation: every step of assessing the carbon before the minting will be on the distributed ledger, with every step of data transition signed, removing any chance of fraud and manipulation.
- Science: the audit trail allows DOVU to ingest as many scientific policies as possible, and allows users and customers to assess the quality of our carbon offset.
- Accreditation: the audit trail will adhere to standards set by governing bodies, and will allow DOVU to achieve accreditation.
- Carbon onboarding at scale: being able to onboard farms rapidly and at scale to meet the rapidly rising carbon offset demands.
- Partnerships: DOVU to partner and onboard other carbon projects (solar, wind, it doesn’t matter!) to our system, while exposing our APIs to developers.
Like we said at the outset, our carbon audit trail helps us to deliver our carbon offset solution with integrity and transparency. We can document both soil potential and farm project success in a verified, non-partisan way. Using independent experts is integral to our processes, and the fact we capture every action makes our carbon offset proposition all the more relevant, reliable and robust.
We’re always happy to talk to anyone who reaches out to us. We will answer questions and engage to ensure what we’re doing is understood. If you’d like to know more, do let us know. We’d love to hear from you.